G. R. No. 148233: June 08 2004: 475 PHIL 190
Offense Involved: Anti-Carnapping Law
FACTS: Sometime in1996, Edwin Cipriano hired the accused, Luisito Bustinera, as a taxi driver and assigned him to drive a Daewoo Racer. They agreed that Bustinera would drive the taxi from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, and would return it to the garage and remit the boundary of P780.00 per day. However, on Dec. 25, 1996, the accused reported for work but did not return the taxi on the same day. On the following day, Cipriano went to Bustinera’s house but did not find the taxi there. The wife of the accused also informed Cipriano that his husband has not yet returned. Cipriano then went to report his missing taxi. It was only on January 9, 1997 where the taxi was recovered after the wife of the accused informed Cipriano that the said taxi was abandoned on Regalado street, Quezon City. In his defense, accused admitted that he did not return the taxi on December 25 as he was short on the boundary fee. However, he posited that he returned the taxi on January 5, 1997 and signed the record book, which was company procedure, to show that he indeed returned it and gave his employer P2,500.00 as partial payment for the boundary fee covering the period from December 25, 1996 to January 5, 1997. After trial, the RTC found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified theft.
- Whether RPC or Anti-Carnapping is applicable in this case?
- Whether or not accused-appellant violated the Anti-Carnapping Law?
- Anti-Carnapping is applicable in this case. Appellant was convicted of qualified theft under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended for the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. However, Article 310 has been modified, with respect to certain vehicles, by Republic Act No. 6539, as amended, otherwise known as “An Act Preventing And Penalizing Carnapping.” When statutes are in pari materia or when they relate to the same person or thing, or to the same class of persons or things, or cover the same specific or particular subject matter, or have the same purpose or object, the rule dictates that they should be construed together interpretare et concordare leges legibus, est optimus interpretandi modus. Every statute must be so construed and harmonized with other statutes as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence.
- Yes. Accused-appellant violated the Anti-Carnapping Law. The prosecution was able to prove the existence of all the elements of carnapping, to wit: (1) the taking of a motor vehicle which belongs to another; (2) the taking is without the consent of the owner or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons or by using force upon things; and (3) the taking is done with intent to gain. The argument of the defense that there was no intent to gain when he failed to return the taxi to its garage holds no merit. Intent to gain or animus lucrandi is an internal act, presumed from the unlawful taking of the motor vehicle. Actual gain is irrelevant as the important consideration is the intent to gain. The term gain is not merely limited to pecuniary benefit but also includes the benefit which in any other sense may be derived or expected from the act which is performed. Thus, the mere use of the thing which was taken without the owners consent constitutes gain.